Hasselbacks are almost-sliced potatoes baked with herbs and butter - like jacket potatoes, except the jackets are in tatters. They make an impressive side and are one of those things that look much more elaborate and hard to prepare than they really are.
Now this must have gone wrong: the cook distracted/pissed off/stressed/in love forgot to ALMOST-slice the potatoes - or neglected to place them on a special Swedish spoon - and wham! bam! went through them with a masterly knife action. Result - a pile of neatly sliced potato discs. And one even more stressed cook.
Well - what do you do when things you’re cooking look badly wrong? Of course, throw cheese at them. I can’t think of a single dish - with the possible exception of raspberry panna cotta - that wouldn’t benefit from an addition of grated cheese. And cheese with cream - super, might even review it with regards to panna cotta.
And what next? Ah, of course, instead of placing the spud slices obediently in layers into a dish, let’s stand them up, in rows, like soldiers or a queue in Waitrose after discounted Heston’s Christmas pudding. They will have their bottoms cooking in the cheese mix and the tops will get scorchy, crispy, crusty, lacey and all the other lovely adjectives that can be applied to cheese.
How can it get any better? How does it compare to the boring regular hasselbacks? It doesn’t - that’s how.
I have to tell the truth: I wasn’t that stressed out cook but I’m happy to check with NY Times Cooking if my conjecture was correct.